The sad passing of Argentine football great Diego Maradona, who died on Wednesday at the age of 60 following a heart attack, has prompted me to reiterate what I and many other fellow pen-pushers have been saying: let’s honour our legends while they are still alive!!
A few months ago in this column, I called up the sports ministry and the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) to hasten the process of setting up a national sports museum, which will honour and pay tribute to our various past and present living and departed heroes.
What I keep saying is why should we wait for the day the likes of Harry Simon, Frank Fredericks, Nestor Tobias, Paulus “The Hitman” Moses, Paulus “The Rock” Ambunda, Julius “Blue Machine” Indongo, Ricardo Mannetti, Elifas Shivute, Collin Bejnamin, Razundara Tjikuzu, Rusten Mogane, Dr Vetumbuavi Veii, Luketz Swartbooi, Monica Dahl and Tuihaleni Kayele, among many others, pass on in order for us to honour their contribution to the growth of Namibian sport?
When one speaks of the likes of the now departed Seth Matamba Boois, the late charismatic Quinton-Steele Botes, the late great Piet du Plooy and many other departed towering sports figures (athletes and administrators) who played a massive role in shaping the destiny of Namibian sport, I always ask the question where and when will future generations of athletes and ordinary Namibians get to remember these heroes of the past.
Thirty years after Namibia’s independence, we still have no statue of Frank Fredericks at the Windhoek Independence Stadium, thirty years after independence we still have no annual boxing tournament named after the legendary Harry Simon. The examples are countless and one wonders if Namibian sport authorities are waiting for the day one of these living legends pass on to honour them with press statements filled with lengthy tributes or what are we waiting for?
Walking in the corridors of the Namibia Football Association (NFA) Football House in Katutura and walking into the corridors of the Namibia National Olympic Committee’s (NNOC) Olympic House, there is no dedicated space or a “wall of fame” at both those crucial institutions telling the amazing stories/glories of our national heroes of yesteryear. As we speak, Namibia has no sports museum, no national sports day or national sports remembrance site, nothing!! It’s a big shame…